Monday, December 22, 2008

Scott Dixon’s Anti-Second Rant in Ashland Daily Tidings

The Ashland Daily Tidings recently published an editorial by a self described retired engineer named Scott Dixon. Mr. Dixon believes that there are too many firearms in the United States, and that it would be appropriate for the government to impose a $400 per firearm tax on all firearms in private hands in the United States:

“While acknowledging the constitutional right to bear arms, I feel that there may be an economic method to persuade gun owners to part with their guns. Governments sometimes require citizens to collectively bear the costs incurred by a few. Society could say, "Fine, you can have your guns. However, we know that the private ownership of guns causes huge economic losses for our society. We want the owners of guns to collectively pay for those losses." I believe that if the owner of each gun had to pay the pro-rated share of the violence done by all guns, he would be inclined to dispose of the gun quickly.”

I guess Mr. Dixon would be okay with a tax on other expressions of Constitutionally guaranteed rights. What about $100 for every article published in a local paper and $500 for something on a national level? $1 for each internet post? $1 for every phone call? How about throwing in a pew tax of $20 every time you go to Church as well? If you want the right to trial by jury, does a tax of $1000 per case plus the lost wages of the jurors seem appropriate?

Mr. Dixon misses the entire concept of an “inalienable right”. A right is just that – it is something that is not granted by our government. It is an area our government allegedly holds no power over. Charging to exercise a right is an infringement of that right as surely as any gun ban. Furthermore he advocates the same fallacy that gun banners do – the law abiding with no guilt who are in no way contributing to the “social cost” of criminal acts bear the brunt of paying for the damage done.

Taxation was one of the central issues that started the first American Revolution, and quite frankly I believe any such proposal would be met with equal hostility today. Mike Vanderboegh has expressed essentially that same sentiment over on his blog. Hopefully saner heads will prevail and Mr. Dixon’s wrong-headed neo-royalist ideas will be consigned once again to the dustbin of history – where they belong.

Until next time!

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